Trust Distribution Lawyer Protects Beneficiaries’ Rights
Knowledgeable New York attorney recovers assets for rightful owners
Many people choose to leave assets to beneficiaries by establishing a trust rather than transferring the property through a will. If you’ve been named as the beneficiary of a trust, you may have questions about your rights and what to do if you think the trust is being managed badly. Fred L. Abrams Attorney at Law assists trust beneficiaries who suspect there are not getting a proper distribution of assets, or have concerns about distributions to other parties. We can trace assets that seem to have disappeared and unwind improper transactions to restore assets to the trust. Drawing on more than 30 years of experience, we fight to enforce your rights.
What are the basics of trust distribution?
When assets are placed in a trust, a legal entity exists which owns that property. Management of the assets falls to a trustee, who has a duty to act responsibly for the good of the beneficiaries. The trustee often has the power to invest trust fund assets, but must do so with prudence. If the trustee is negligent or dishonest, he or she can be held personally liable for actions that diminish the value of the trust funds.
As for distributions, beneficiaries receive assets from the trust according to its terms. This could mean periodic payments without conditions, or payments when a beneficiary reaches a milestone or fulfills a condition. Terms of the trust are set by the grantor at the time the trust is established. However, terms may be open to interpretation, and the trust may give broad discretion to the trustee, so there might be disagreement as to whether a beneficiary is entitled to a distribution. Finally, trust distributions might be made depending on the performance of the trust’s investment portfolio. If those investments do not bring a certain return, the trustee might not be able to make a distribution.
Common types of beneficiary disputes
Conflicts often arise when a beneficiary believes the conditions have been met to receive a distribution, but the trustee disagrees and refuses to release funds. Alternatively, a trustee could distribute assets to one beneficiary, when another beneficiary does not believe a distribution is warranted.
There can also be sharp disagreements about the trustee’s management of trust assets. The trustee may have to settle all claims against the trust before releasing any assets. Beneficiaries can feel the process of paying expenses and creditors is taking too long, and that the delay indicates negligence on the trustee’s part. Some potential beneficiaries seek court orders to compel a trustee to make a distribution.
A trustee might believe that selling certain assets is prudent and will enhance the value of the trust. A beneficiary might want the property to remain in the trust. In some instances, a beneficiary might learn after the fact that a trust asset has been transferred. Then the beneficiary may seek to have this transfer nullified. In such cases, our experience with asset recovery would help us trace the property and initiate steps to recover it.
When conflicts over trust distributions come up, Mr. Abrams is ready to assert your rights and fight to enforce them.
Contact an accomplished New York City asset search and recovery attorney today
Fred L. Abrams Attorney at Law handles asset search and recovery matters relating to trusts and other types of legal proceedings. To schedule a meeting with Mr. Abrams, call 800-986-1497 or contact us online.